The Long Haul
Cast & Crew
Upon receiving his military discharge from a U.S. Army Transport Company in Germany, trucker Harry Miller looks forward to returning stateside. However, when Harry's British wife Connie asks if they can spend a few months in her hometown of Liverpool before leaving Europe, Harry reluctantly complies. In Liverpool, Harry goes to work driving for a trucking company owned by Connie's uncle George. Harry's first assignment is to follow veteran driver Casey on a run to Glasgow. Along the way, Casey pulls in to a truck stop where Harry watches as Casey furtively confers with two well-dressed men. When Harry walks out into the parking lot, he sees the men stealing the cargo from Casey's truck and tries to stop them. After breaking up the fight, Casey returns a roll of cash to the men and tells Harry to continue on to Glasgow. Upon delivering his shipment, Harry reports to the dispatch office of the J. Easy Hauling Company to request a return delivery to Liverpool. When the two men from the truck stop arrive and have a word with the dispatcher, however, Harry is denied an assignment. Furious, Harry complains to the trucking company's owner, Joe Easy, who runs with business with equal parts of larceny and force. Joe orders his thugs to get rid of Harry, and so they beat him up and throw him into the alley, where he is found by Joe's girl friend Lynn. Lynn patches up Harry, after which he returns home to Connie and his young son Butch. Soon after, George asks Harry to take over Casey's delivery of a shipment of Scotch to Glasgow. Casey, who has arranged for Joe's thugs to hijack the shipment, hastily notifies Joe about the change in drivers. Intercepting Harry at the truck stop, Joe tries to enlist him in the hijacking, but Harry appears disinterested until Lynn walks in. Then she and Joe argue, Joe rips her dress, after which she slaps him and runs out. When Harry approaches his truck he finds Lynn waiting for him inside the cabin. Lynn begs Harry for a ride, and they continue on until a teeming rainstorm forces them to take shelter at a roadside café. There Lynn explains that she is only with Joe for purposes of self-preservation and confides that she is worried about her brother Frank, who works as Joe's bookkeeper. As they are about to leave, the café's proprietress suggestively says that she has rooms to rent, but Harry turns down her offer. Once inside the truck, however, Lynn passionately kisses Harry and leads him back to the café. The next morning, a remorseful Harry is ordering tea in the café when he hears someone drive off in his truck and accuses Lynn of setting him up for the hijacking. When Harry returns to Liverpool, George warns him that no insurance company will ever cover him again and chastises him for his stupidity. Unable to find work, Harry insists on returning to America, but when Connie refuses to leave, he relents. Later, Casey finds Harry at a billiard hall and tries to interest him in a scheme to defraud Joe's insurance company. Desperate for work, Harry accepts. On a deserted road, Harry watches as Casey and several of Joe's thugs set fire to one of Joe's trucks. As Casey climbs into the truck to drive it over a mountain ledge, his arm gets caught in the gears and he is dragged to a fiery death. Soon after, Harry marches into Joe's office and throws Casey's charred cap on his desk. When Joe accuses Harry of keeping Lynn, whom Joe has not seen since the night at the café, Harry denies it. As Harry is leaving the office, Frank tells him that Lynn is working at the Congo Club and wants to see him. Harry then proceeds to the club, where he makes up with Lynn, who is working there as a taxi dancer. Meanwhile, Joe's insurance company's investigators suspect fraud and refuse to honor his claim, so Joe decides to steal a valuable truckload of fur pelts and smuggle them to America to sell. Tracking down Harry at a billiard hall, Joe offers him a percentage of the cut and passage on a ship to Boston in return for driving the truck. Joe leaves when Harry turns him down, and as he waits in his car outside the hall, sees Lynn enter. Lynn warns Harry not to get involved with Joe, then begs him to meet her at the park that afternoon. Harry sullenly returns home and announces he is going for a walk. Connie insists that he take Butch with him, and at the park, Lynn meets Harry and gives Butch a dog-shaped brooch. While the guilt-ridden Harry tells Lynn that he wants to end their relationship, Butch falls off a swing and Harry hurriedly takes him home. When Connie sees the brooch, she realizes that Harry has been seeing another woman and accuses Harry of betraying them. As the two argue, Connie blurts out that Butch is not Harry's son. Shaken, Harry is about to run out the front door when the police arrive to question him about the truck fire, and he flees out the back instead. Harry goes to Joe's office to accept his offer, and afterward, Joe empties his safe in preparation of leaving the country for good. As Joe walks out of his office onto the wharf, Frank threatens to inform the police of the robbery unless he is included, and Joe shoots him. The shooting is witnessed by two sailors, who report the license plate number of Joe's car. After picking up Lynn, Joe sees a roadblock and quickly turns around to intercept Harry's truck. Lynn, who has been told by Joe that Frank was to drive the truck, begins to suspect something is amiss when she sees that Harry is the driver. The map outlining the route to the boat waiting to take them to Boston turns out to be incorrect, however, and they are forced to stop until daylight. In the morning, Harry informs Lynn that he has left his wife. Discerning that the port lies over the mountains, they begin a tortuous journey along a rocky mountain road. While crossing a river, the truck gets stuck in the mud along the river bank, and Harry rips open a container of pelts to put under the truck's tires to provide traction. While Harry pushes from behind, Joe puts the truck in reverse, trying to run him over. Enraged, Harry pulls Joe out of the truck's cabin, and as the two men struggle in the river, several crates of pelts cascade out of the back of the truck and land on Joe, who is then drowned. Harry and Lynn reach the waiting ship which then casts off, but as the craft nears Liverpool, Harry, who feels guilty about leaving Connie and Butch destitute, decides to deliver some money to them when the ship docks. Lynn accompanies Harry on the cab ride to his house, and convinces him to let her make the delivery because the police will probably be watching the building. When Lynn rings the doorbell, she finds the doctor telling Connie to call an ambulance because Butch has suffered a brain hemorrhage from his fall off the swing. Lynn hands the money to Connie, then returns to the cab. Although she tries to conceal the news about Butch's condition from Harry, he senses that something is wrong and forces her to tell the truth. Harry insists on returning home and arrives just as the ambulance attendants are carrying Butch out on a stretcher. As the police surround Harry, Connie sobs on his shoulder, then joins Butch in the ambulance. Lynn watches as the police lead Harry away, then instructs the cab driver to take her to the Congo Club.
R. L. M. Davidson
The Long Haul
The Long Haul
Onscreen credits contain the following written acknowlegment: "The producer gratefully acknowleges the assistance and facilities made availabe to the producer by Leyland Motors Limited." Tom Morahan's onscreen credit reads "production designer and associate producer." Although American reviews listed the film's running time as 88 minutes, the length of the viewed print, London reviews indicate that the film's running time was 100 minutes at the time of its release in England.
1956 Los Angeles Examiner articles note that The Long Haul was originally to be produced as a co-production of Todon Productions, Inc. and Warwick Film Productions, Ltd., a studio with which Columbia had a long-term business relationship. At that time, Marlon Brando and Robert Mitchum were being considered for the role of "Harry Miller." A 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item indicates that Maxwell Setton was initially set to produce the film for Allied Artists until Columbia signed a deal with the producer. American Cinematographer notes that location filming was done at the London docks. Modern sources add Stanley Rose, Barry Raymond, Susan Campbell, Van Boolen, Madge Brindley, Harcourt Curacao, Arthur Mullard, Norman Rossington, Martin Shaban and Freddie Watts to the cast.